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30.03.2005 General News

Ga-Dangmes kick against choice of Fante bishop

By Chronicle

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 (Chronicle) -- AN eruption is about to take place in the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, following the intended transfer of Bishop George Palmer-Buckle from Koforidua to take over Accra, where Most Rev. Dominic Kwadwo Andoh's absence has created a vacuum.

The Ga-Dangme Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Accra has sworn never to permit the takeover because they are being cheated as a community.

The Holy See Ambassador to Ghana, His Grace George Kochery, is expected to announce today, March 30, the official replacement for Most Rev. Domonic Andoh.

Chronicle investigations revealed that over the years, the Ga-Dangme Catholic Community has been pressing for the appointment of an indigene to head the Accra diocese to no avail, and so they see this as an opportunity to have their fair share of the Catholic cake.

Last Wednesday, a silent, peaceful demonstration was held during the Chrism Mass held at the Holy Spirit Cathedral, with placards some of which read “OPENING CEREMONY OF PASSOVER WEEK FOR GA-DANGME CATHOLIC COMMUNITY,” “WE NEED GA-DANGME BISHOP,” and “WE SHALL BE BACK,” among others.

According to information gathered from the Ga-Dangme Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Accra, the former Bishop, a Fante, did not evangelise Ga-Dangme rural areas, there is no place in the Archdioceses of Accra where mass in Ga is said and that every diocese in Ghana has a native of the area as a bishop.

Some findings are that they need a Ga bishop, who will encourage vocation among the Ga-Dangme Catholic community.

They also claimed that the Papal Nuncio did not consult any Ga-Dangme Catholic community person when choosing Bishop Buckle to replace Archbishop Andoh.

The community, therefore, appealed to Rome to intervene immediately to avoid disturbances in the respected Catholic Church in Accra.

Probing further, it was revealed that the Ga-Dangme Catholic community became suspicious of the process used to select Bishop Buckle to replace Archbishop Andoh, when there are about 44 priests, including Ga-Dangmes, who are qualified, including Ga-Dangmes, such as Rev. Father Batsa, Monsignor Jonathan Ankrah, the preferred choice, and Father Awo-Doku of Odumase.

Copies of protest letters have been dispatched to Cardinal Turkson and Rome, the paper gathered.

A staunch Catholic, who once worked with the Chronicle, (name withheld) told the paper that he had heard rumours of murmuring at the Accra Archdiocese, but described them as mere speculative.

When the paper contacted the Vicar-General, as well as the Nuncio, His Grace Kocherry, they both indicated that the whole thing was based on speculation, as the name of the bishop to replace the outgoing one was yet to be revealed.

When our cameraman went to the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra, he captured the picture of a solitary red flag on the fence wall of the imposing church.

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